Sunday, 15 April 2012

ESC 2012, semi-final 2 - Serbia

Željko Joksimović (born April 20 1972 in Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia) is a Serbian singer, composer and producer. He is very popular in Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Germany, Austria and other European countries.

Željko Joksimović was born in Belgrade and grew up in the city of Valjevo. Željko’s first international success came at the age of 12, when he won the title of First Accordion of Europe at the prestigious music festival in Paris. He graduated from the Music University in Belgrade and launched his professional music career in 1997. In 1998 he won the Pjesma Mediterana festival with the song Pesma Sirena, which led to opportunities to perform at more prestigious festivals. Željko can play 11 different musical instruments including accordion, piano, guitar and drums.

Željko is multi-lingual, being fluent in Greek, English, Russian, Polish and French as well as his native Serbian.

In 1999, Željko signed with City Records, a music label owned by the private Serbian television station RTV Pink. He was promoted then as a folk and pop artist. His first studio album, titled Amajlija, included Pesma Sirena along with seven other tracks. His first big success was with the single Telo Vreteno, written by himself and Dragan Brajić. The song went to #1 on the Serbian pop music charts, and became very popular in other former Yugoslav countries.

In 2000 Željko released his second studio album Vreteno named after a song on the album. Other tracks on the album included Rintam, Gadura and Petak na subotu. Two music videos were produced for songs on this album.

111 was released in 2002, soaring to #1 on the pop charts of Serbia and other countries of the region.

In 2003, Željko wrote the song Čija Si for Macedonian music legend Toše Proeski which led him to win Beovizija - The Serbian festival for choosing a representative for the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. However, Toše didn't represent Serbia and Montenegro but Macedonia at the ESC 2004.

Serbia and Montenegro, sending an entrant for the first time to 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, decided on their representative through Evropesma 2004, a music festival and contest in Serbia and Montenegro. Željko won the contest with Lane Moje, composed by Željko himself, along with lyricist Leontina Vukomanović.

In the semi-final, Željko placed first. However, in the final he placed second behind Ukrainian singer Ruslana, but he did win The Marcel Bezencon Press award (Best Composer Award). Lane Moje was the best selling single in Serbia and Montenegro and other parts of Europe for many months.

After the success in the Contest, the same year, Željko Joksimović founded Minacord Production. Since then, he works and composes in his own studio. He composed and released the single Ledja O Ledja which gained a large popularity over the countries where Željko usually performs. In 2005, he once again composed a song for Serbia and Montenegro's national pre-selection for Eurovision called Beovizija. Željko composed the ballad Jutro, performed by Jelena Tomašević, which came 2nd. In October 2005, he composed and performed a duet with Austrian singer Tamee Harrison. The song was titled I Live My Life For You which was a success throughout Europe. Around this time, Željko wrote his first film score. In cooperation with Cobra production he composed music for the movie Ivkova slava. The same year he released his fourth studio album IV or Ima Nešto U Tom Sto Me Nećes. In this album he changed the music style that was typical about him. The songs in the album are pop ballads with some ethnic Serbian folk elements. The CD sold over 800,000 copies over former Yugoslavia. In 2006, he composed the song Lejla for Bosnia and Herzegovina, performed by Hari Mata Hari. The song finished in third place, making it Bosnia's best performance in the contest. He also won the prestigious Best Composer Award, assigned to Željko by all composers who participated in that festival. In 2007 he released his second greatest hits compilation called Platinum Collection. The same year, in front of 18,000 people Željko played a concert where he sang all of his hits in the Belgrade Arena.

In early 2008, Željko Joksimović composed the song Oro which was performed by Jelena Tomašević in the Serbian national final for the Eurovision song selection, Beovizija 2008. The song is a folk ballad with traditional folk Serbian elements. Because the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 has been won by Serbia, the contest that year was organize by Serbia. On 24 March 2008 it was announced by the 2008 Eurovision organisers RTS that together with Jovana Janković Željko would host the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, giving him two roles in the contest. Jelena Tomašević finished 6th out of 25 countries in the final.

After a year of a music pause he released his fifth studio album named Ljubavi by the production of Minacord and City Records. Ljubavi is the name from the pilot single from the album too. The single has a large success in Serbia and the neighboring countries. In early 2010 he released the second single from the album called Žena Za Sva Vremena.

On June 12, 2010 he performed his biggest concert yet. It was held on the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On November 18 2011, it was announced that Joksimović will represent Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. His song, Nije Ljubav Stvar, was presented to the public on March 10, 2012.The song is composed and performed by Željko Joksimović. The lyrics are by Marina Tucaković and Miloš Roganović.

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